Nativity of St. John the Baptist

“Ut queant laxis” – The Nativity of St. John the Baptist Latin Hymn

“O for your spirit, holy John, to chastenLips sin-polluted, fettered tongues to loosen;So by your children might your deeds of wonderMeetly be chanted.” Paolo Diacono (Paul the Deacon) (ca. 720 – ca. 799) a monk of Monte Cassino and a friend of Charlemagne, had composed, in honour of St. John the Baptist, the hymn: “Ut queant laxis.” In the thirteenth century the Benedictine monk Guy of Arezzo noticed that the notes sung on the first syllabes formed the sequence of the first six degrees of the scale. He named each degree by the corresponding syllable: “Ut, re, mi, fa, sol,[…]

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Latin Hym Panis Angelicus: The Bread of Angels

Panis Angelicus: The Bread of Angels

“Panis Angelicus” comes from the last two stanzas of the hymn “Sacris solemniis” composed by St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) for the Feast of Corpus Christi and of the Votive Office of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The hymn expresses the doctrine that the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. In the Roman Catholic tradition the concept of transubstantiation is presented as an explanation of how this change happens. It directs us to contemplate the great mystery of becoming one with Jesus Himself whenever we receive Him. God Himself becomes our nourishment. It then proceeds to ask[…]

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Celestial Sphere Painting from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher

Gregorian Chant Hymns to the Holy Trinity

“All life begins in the Trinity, comes from the Trinity, and is destined to seek eternal rest in the Trinity. Even damned souls, by suffering punishment for having rejected love, finally do glorify God’s justice. The life of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, mystery of divine mysteries, is a mutual giving so complete that the Divine Persons do not exist except in relation to one another. The divine life They share with Christ’s members through Baptism is meant to be shared with all peoples through the apostolic zeal of Christians.”  ~ Traditional Latin Mass Missal. Raphael’s Exhortation (Tobit 12:6-8) Then he[…]

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Litany of Saints

Litaniae Sanctorum – The Litany of the Saints

A The Litany of the Saints (Litaniae Sanctorum) is a traditional chant in the Catholic Church that praises God and his saints. Its first recorded use was in 590 when Pope St. Gregory prescribed its usage for a public procession of thanksgiving. The Litany is a call to remember those who have gone before us and to ask their intercession. The form given below is a long standing traditional form of the Litany Saints published in the Roman Ritual, Latin-English edition in 1952. A partial indulgence is attached to the Litany of the Saints. Litaniae Sanctorum – The Litany of[…]

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Song of Zechariah

Benedictus Dominus Deus Israel (Canticle of Zachary)

The Benedictus is the Song of Zechariah, or Canticle of Zachary, given in the Gospel of Luke 1:68-79, is one of the three canticles in the opening chapters of this Gospel, the other two being the “Magnificat” and the “Nunc dimittis”. The Benedictus was the song of thanksgiving uttered by Zechariah who was filled with the Holy Spirit, on the occasion of the birth of his son, John the Baptist. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Benedictus is part of The Divine Office, that takes place in the early morning hours. The canticle received its name from its first words in[…]

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Ave Regina Caelorum - Hail, Queen of Heaven!

Ave Regina Cælorum – Hail, Queen of Heaven!

Herman Contractus (1013 – 1054) – an 11th-century Benedictine monk and scholar – has been traditionally credited with the composition of several popular Marian antiphons, including Ave Regina Cælorum. The hymn praises Our Lady, acknowledging her Queenship over heaven and angels, and extolling her unparalleled beauty and favor with God. It also acknowledges her as the mediator between men and Our Lord Jesus Christ, as it asks her to pray for us to Our Lord. “Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata! Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.” “Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin. Give me strength against[…]

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Veni, Creator Spiritus

“Veni Creator Spiritus” is one of the most widely used hymns in the Church, attributed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is chanted at Vespers, Pentecost, Dedication of a Church, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and whenever the Holy Ghost is solemnly invoked. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it. A plenary indulgence is granted if it is recited on January 1st or on the feast of Pentecost. Veni, Creator Spiritus, mentes tuorum visita, imple superna gratia quae tu creasti pectora. O Come, Creator Spirit, come; The souls which are Thine own invade; And with supernal grace inflame[…]

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Resurrection of Christ

Victimae Paschali Laudes

Victimae Paschali Laudes is one of the medieval sequences that were preserved in the Missale Romanum published in 1570 after the Council of Trent (1545-1563), this poetic liturgical hymn continues to be sung at the Tridentine Mass on Easter Sunday and through its Octave. The Easter sequence, attributed to Wipo of Burgundy (✞ 1048). This ancient chant tells the story of death and life locked in a struggle, wherein Christ, the Paschal victim, victorious over death, reconciles us to the Father. It tells the story of Mary Magdalene, who upon finding the empty tomb of the risen Christ and of finding the[…]

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Sacris sollemniis Latin Hymn by St Thomas Aquinas

Sacris solemniis

“Sacris solemniis” is one of the five beautiful hymns St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) composed in honor of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at specific request of Pope Urban IV (1261-1264) when the Pope first established the Feast of Corpus Christi in 1264. Today Sacris Solemniis is used as a hymn for the Office of the Readings for Corpus Christi. The last two stanzas are the text for the hymn Panis Angelicus. “Sacris solemniis” Latin and English Lyrics Sacris solemniisiuncta sint gaudia,et ex praecordiissonent praeconia;recedant vetera,nova sint omnia,corda, voces, et opera. At this our solemn feastlet holy joys abound,and from the[…]

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The Angelus Chant

The Angelus – Prayer for Peace and Tranquility

The Angelus originated during the time of Crusades as a prayer for peace and tranquillity for their country. To be said or sung at 6:00 a.m., Noon, and 6:00 p.m.  Indulgenced by Pope Benedict XIII, Sept 14, 1724. Listen to “The Angelus prayer from the “Day in the Cloister” – a chant CD available from the Virgo Sacrata shop. Audio courtesy of the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary. The Angelus Prayer in Latin and English Latin V/. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae; R/. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto. Ave Maria,gratia plena,Dominus tecum.Benedicta tu in mulieribus,et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus.Sancta Maria,Mater Dei,ora[…]

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Regina Cæli or Regina Cœli Queen of Heaven

♕ Regina Cæli: Easter Anthem and Prayer

“There is a venerable tradition connected with this joyous anthem.  It is related that a fearful pestilence raged in Rome, during one of the Easters of the pontificate of St. Gregory the Great.  In order to propitiate the anger of God, the holy Pope prescribed a public procession of both people and clergy, in which was to be carried the portrait of our blessed Lady painted by St. Luke.  The procession was advancing in the direction of St. Peter’s; and as the holy picture, followed by the Pontiff, was carried along, the atmosphere became pure and free from pestilence.  Having[…]

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Improperia “Popule meus, quid feci tibi?”

Improperia “Popule meus, quid feci tibi?”

The Improperia are the reproaches which in the liturgy of the Office of Good Friday the Saviour is made to utter against the Jews, who, in requital for all the Divine favours and particularly for the delivery from the bondage of Egypt and safe conduct into the Promised Land, inflicted on Him the ignominies of the Passion and a cruel death. It is during the Adoration of the Cross that these touching remonstrances are rendered by the choir. In all they consist of three distinct parts. Of these the third — composed of the antiphon “Crucem tuam adoramus”, the first[…]

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